Gibbs: By next Sunday, healthcare reform will be the 'law of the land'

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the healthcare bill will pass by next weekend.

"We'll have the votes when the House votes, I think, within the next week," Gibbs said on "Fox News Sunday."

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Gibbs added that those on next week's Sunday talk shows "will be talking about healthcare not as a presidential proposal but I think as the law of the land."

President Barack Obama will look to campaign on the new healthcare law in midterm elections, Gibbs said.

"We believe healthcare reform is going to pass, and once it passes we're happy to have the 2010 elections be about the achievement of healthcare reform," Gibbs said.

But Republicans on Fox said there's no guarantee the bill passes and that Democrats will benefit from it.

"If they pass this thing, I think they lose the House of Representatives this fall," said former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove.

If Democrats do pass it, "then the American people will be the losers," said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

"This is a trillion-dollar-bill attempting to overhaul healthcare for every single American," Cantor added.

The bill in its first 10 years will cost nearly $900 billion.


Cantor also criticized Democrats for talking about "bending the rules" by holding a single House vote that allows passage of both the bill passed by the Senate and a package of fixes. That move, under consideration by House Democratic leaders, would keep House members from voting on unpopular parts of the Senate bill, namely special deals that were included to win over recalcitrant senators.

"There should be in the minds of most Americans a direct vote on the Senate bill," Cantor said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), a member of House Democratic leadership, dismissed suggestions the House will pass the Senate bill without a vote, but he left open the possibility of packaging the fixes with the underlying bill.

"We're going to have an up or down vote," he said.